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Community members hold rally to support Tahiliani

Victoria Macao
Everett citizens demonstrate in front of Everett High School holding signs demanding respect from School Committee members.

Outside Everett High School on Monday evening, November 20,  dozens of teachers, students and citizens gathered around the school’s front steps in solidarity with superintendent Priya Tahiliani, who had recently been put on paid administrative leave by the School Committee while investigating a set of anonymous complaints.

Among the attendees were parents, students, community leaders, citizens, established School Committee members and newly-elected Committee members scheduled to begin in January of 2024. The rally was organized to highlight many injustices fought by Tahiliani during her three-year appointment including racism, racist comments and posts being made by City Council members and the accused corruption that goes on inside the Committee walls. 

“This is what is important to us,” said Jocelyn Solis, a community organizer for La Comunidad. “That our voices should be heard and taken into consideration for what is happening in Everett.”

Solis also spoke for Antonio Amaya, the director of the organization who could not be there due to health concerns. “The School Committee must understand the diversity that exists in Everett and it has to be respected,” wrote Amaya. “Our will must be respected.”

La Comunidad is a non-profit organization focusing on providing a better future for Latino communities and immigrants in Everett and surrounding areas.

Flavia De Souza, an Everett parent and president of Everett’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), also spoke at the rally, stating her support for Tahiliani.

“We noticed a change when the last superintendent search was done,” said De Souza. “The entire community worked together and we saw a huge change.”

De Souza has been a member of SEPAC for 5 years and was shocked when Tahiliani was put on paid leave. “The public was never notified,” De Souza said. “The vote did not represent what the public really wanted.”

At the regularly scheduled School Committee meeting immediately following the rally, Margaret Cornelio, a newly-elected Committee member for Ward 1, delivered a powerful speech.

“What happened to the Everett that I believed in?,” Cornelio questioned. “It’s so disheartening, so disgraceful and so embarrassing. This is causing us to have a black mark on Everett, on our students, on the parents and all the residents, they’re all upset.” Cornelio ended her comment with a powerfully charged statement, showing her unwavering support for the Everett community. 

“On November 7th, Everett voters sent a strong message not only to the School Committee, but to the whole local government,” said Jose Roso, an Everett High alumni and organizer for La Communidad. “Some Everett political leaders have a history of staying quiet while dishonesty, no transparency and no accountability is occurring in our school district.”

Roso also demonstrated his support for Tahiliani: “I, along with many other members of this community, demand that the School Committee and the mayor of Everett stop the search for a new superintendent.”

Tahiliani, who has sued the city of Everett and Mayor Carlo DeMaria for discrimination in March, is currently one of four finalists for the superintendent of Melrose Public Schools.

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About the Contributor
Victoria Macao
Victoria Macao, Reporter
Victoria Mação  (she/her) has high expectations for her long-awaited senior year and amazing plans for the brilliant future ahead of her. Mação  is an athlete (track runner/soccer player), a history lover, a straight “A” student with the longest list of possible colleges to attend that you will ever see, and is a complete dreamer girl. One good way to briefly describe Mação  is by mentioning her cool outfits, great hair, and absolute passion for aesthetic video making. With this being Mação's first year as a reporter for The Crimson Times, she is really looking forward to brainstorming and writing amazing stories for our school newspaper.

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